The Design and Fabrication of a Compressed Air Cannon Open Access
Downloadable ContentDownload PDF
An air cannon was designed to simulate the effects of water hammer. The air cannon was required to meet certain specifications for the customer. The system includes a gas chamber, a barrel, a projectile, external piping, and a support system. The mass of the projectile is about 2 kg, and velocity of the projectile must reach at least 50 m/s, so a large force must be applied from the gas chamber to achieve that velocity. Additionally, the system will experience a large recoil force due to the high velocity. To prevent a high recoil velocity, a large support system was put in place below the cannon system. To achieve a high enough velocity, high pressure must be supplied from the gas chamber. As a result of the high pressure supplied from the chamber, safety precautions must be put in place. The pressure must be monitored using an external piping system to ensure the pressure does not get too high. Additionally, the system is equipped with pressure relief valves and rupture disks in case the pressure gets too high. The rupture disks will burst and the pressure relief valves allow air to escape the cannon into the atmosphere, lowering the pressure in the chamber. The system is almost completely fully fabricated, so no testing has taken place yet. However, the group expects to start testing the system next week, firing a dummy teflon projectile into a pile of rags. While this will not test all aspects of the system, it will test the most important factor, which is whether a working air cannon has been fabricated.